Top Democrat Bows Out, Calling it Quits

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Another one bites the dust…and good riddance. On September 13, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made the announcement that he will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming 2024 election. Democrat Wheeler took to Twitter to post about his administration’s response to the city’s “unprecedented number of simultaneous challenges related to homelessness, public safety, livability, and economic recovery” since taking office.

Wheeler has held his position since 2016, and since that time, the city has continued to descend into crime, homelessness and chaos.

Since 2020 when riots broke out across the city of Portland, Wheeler was tasked with responding to this unprecedented challenge while simultaneously dealing with an ever-increasing rate of crime and homelessness.

In 2021 alone there were 92 homicides reported in the city – this is more than four times greater than what the average had been from 2000-2019 which was 21 per year.

This alarming spike in homicides led to many questioning whether or not enough had been done by Mayor Wheeler to address these issues.

To make matters worse for Wheeler’s governorship, data released by the U.S Census Bureau shows that 3% of residents have fled from Portland between 2020-2022 due largely to its rising crime rate as well as an increase in homeless people living on its streets.

In June 2020 the Portland City Council voted to cut nearly $16 million from their police bureau budget – an event which drastically reduced funding for law enforcement operations leading some members of council to voice their concern with how Wheeler responded (or rather didn’t respond) accordingly given such a drastic defunding measure had just taken place.

This eventually prompted Wheeler himself to request $2 million be spent on restoring funding back into police services earlier this year.

Despite announcing he won’t be seeking another term as mayor come November 5th 2024, it appears Wheelers is determined to not slow down before then having expressed his confidence in “the steps we are taking” he says will ensure “Portland’s best years ahead are ahead of us” according to his letter posted on Twitter.

What a joke.

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